Week 26: Trying to get started again
I love travelling, but for some time now that has not been possible, initially because I suffered a life-changing head injury and now because I am taking care of a 92-year-old relative. But I can watch youtube, and the most fun travel vlog I have seen is Drew Binsky's. After having stopped his travels for several months because of covid, he has just posted a video from Hatay, Turkey.
I love almost everywhere I have been in Turkey, but my favorite places are the the eastern Black Sea coast, the city of Urfa, the city of Mersin and Hatay province - I love Antakya, the capital of Hatay, so much that since 1980 I have been there about 15 times. The people, the culture, the food, the history, the architecture, the natural beauty - there is just nothing about Antakya that I don't love.
Hatay province was once a part of Syria but became a part of Turkey in 1939. The province is a mix of both cultures. The diversity is made even greater because of the the mix of Sunni Turks and Arabs, Alevi Arabs, Orthodox Christian Arabs and a smattering of Sunni Kurds (with just a few Roman Catholics thrown in for good measure). The covered bazaar in Antakya can't compare to those is Aleppo or Damascus, but the hummus, kunufe and shwarma are even better than those in Syria or Lebanon (imho). So without further introduction, here is Mr. Binsky's video from Hatay - a bit disappointing considering how much there is to do in the city, but one full of great memories nonetheless.
Just about the only thing about Turkey I don't much like is the pop music, so here are some sunny, cheery songs from north eastern Africa to blow away the covid blues.